Royal Enfield Thunderbird vs. Bajaj Avenger: Feel Like God Or Be God?

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As India is witnessing growth in the performance motorcycle segment, the cruiser segment is also highly competitive. Manufacturers like Harley-Davidson, Indian Motorcycles, Triumph, and Suzuki are competing very strongly with each other.

But the most intense battle is in the 200cc to 400cc cruiser segment, which is currently dominated by Royal Enfield. The motorcycle that is competing is the Bajaj Avenger. However, does the Feel Like God motorcycle fair against the God of motorcycles? Here is a detailed look.

Price
– Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350: approx. Rs. 1,48 lakh on-road price (Delhi)
– Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220: approx. Rs 92,000/- on-road price (Delhi)

Design

Thunderbird
The Royal Enfield Thunderbird portrays a classic touring design, but has a tall stance. High handlebar, sloping 20-litre fuel tank, split contoured seat, long front fork, and upright seating position all means a comfortable riding position to hit the open highway. The overall design has been the same since its launch, but details have been upgraded over the years.

Avenger
The Avenger Cruise 220's style remains somewhat the same as its predecessor, but not completely. The motorcycle has a higher handlebar compared to its previous generation model, new paint scheme with decals and it retains the low seating and forward slung foot pegs.

Features

Thunderbird
Some interesting features of the Royal Enfield are its semi-digital meters with blue backlit display, disc brakes up front and rear, projector headlamps, and a 20-litre fuel tank that allows a longer range of kilometers between refills.

Avenger
The Avenger Cruise 220 features a semi-digital meter as well, but warning lamps, along with the fuel gauge is mounted on the fuel tank. The Bajaj cruiser has a low slung seat with a high handlebar for better seating position. Front disc brakes provide the power to stop and drum brakes carrying out the braking at the rear.

Engine And Specification

Thunderbird
The Thunderbird 350 is powered by a 346cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine that produces 19.8bhp and 28Nm of peak torque. This unit is mated to a five-speed gearbox, which returns a mileage of 51km/l. The motorcycle weighs 192kg (kerb weight).

Avenger
The Avenger Cruise 220 is powered by a 219.9cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled (although it is still air-cooled) engine that produces 18.7bhp and 17.5Nm of peak torque. This engine too is mated to a five-speed gearbox, which returns around 35 km/l and weighs approx 155kg.

Ride And Handling

The Thunderbird is much taller and heavier than the Avenger Cruise, but still handles well. The weight, torque, and the seating position is very much what is needed in a cruiser. What lets the Avenger down is the way the footpegs are arranged. They are too forward slung, and the seating is low which does not give the rider enough confidence while cornering aggressively.

Regarding power delivery, the Thunderbird has lots of torque at its disposal, which makes cruising on the highway a stress-free job, while the Avenger needs a heavy hand on the throttle.

Verdict

So, where should you place your money: the Thunderbird or the Avenger Cruise 220? The answer depends on whether you're looking for a lightweight motorcycle, then the Avenger is a better option. If you're looking to buy a serious cruiser of the two, the Royal Enfield Thunderbird is a better choice.

DriveSpark Thinks! Why feel like God when you are God. Royal Enfield Thunderbird wins this battle.

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Story first published: Friday, October 30, 2015, 16:50 [IST]
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